University of Houston rising senior Edgar Melchor is a finalist in the 2017 Major League Soccer WORKS Community MVP contest. Melchor is one of 22 finalists nationwide—one from each MLS club— being recognized for making a positive impact in their communities. The grand-prize winner will be selected through online voting (now through Aug. 2 at 1p.m.) and recognized during halftime of the MLS All-Star Game on the evening of Aug. 2 at Solider Field in Chicago.
“It’s humbling and an honor,” said Melchor. “I am a Houston Dynamo and soccer fan. Soccer is something I love and so is volunteering. To be able to be recognized for something that involves these things is crazy to me.”
Melchor has deep roots with both soccer and volunteerism. He was instrumental in establishing the First Pass Initiative at FORGE for Families, a nonprofit in Houston’s Third Ward. The ministry works with families to help them realize their full potential. Melchor uses the soccer program as a way to teach kids teamwork, discipline and accountability.
He reinforces the kids’ character-building exercises through teaching and mentorship as a teacher at the FORGE afterschool program.
“When I started college, I was working at a movie theatre, but it wasn’t fulfilling— I wasn’t making an impact. I started looking for a nonprofit to volunteer with and I found FORGE Families through the UH Career Center,” said Melchor, adding that he will likely use his Management Information Systems degree from the Bauer College of Business to continue to work with nonprofits following graduation.
Melchor has been a volunteer since he was 13. He spent five years assisting with multimedia during services at his church, Lakewood Church. If he is voted as the grand-prize winner in the MLS WORKS Community MVP contest, FORGE Families will receive a $25,000 donation. Fans can vote by visiting the Community MVP Contest site and casting a vote or Tweet for the finalist of their choice.
“It would mean a lot for the FORGE and for myself,” said Melchor. “Through volunteer work, so many opportunities have come my way. It’s been amazing. This is surreal.”
As a finalist, Melchor receives two tickets to a Dynamo game, a trip to MLS All-Star week in Chicago and a $1,000 donation for a charitable cause from Wells Fargo.